After positive results against fellow Champions League challengers Borussia Dortmund, Bayer Leverkusen and Wolfsburg, 1. FC Union Berlin will go head-to-head with another this weekend in the shape of Borussia Mönchengladbach.
However, the Köpenick club suffered back-to-back defeats in the week against Leipzig and Augsburg. Saturday's game at the WWK-Arena in Augsburg was a stuffy affair but the margins didn't quite fall in the way for Union Berlin. Florian Niederlechner opened the scoring before Marcus Ingvartsen drilled home an excellent goal midway through the first half. Niederlechner scored again, two minutes into the second half, but gave a way a penalty on 67 minutes. A foul on Prömel was double-checked by the referee Felix Brych and a penalty was awarded for Union. But former Union goalkeeper Rafal Gikiewicz denied his former team a point as he saved the spot-kick from Ingvartsen with 20 minutes to play.
Borussia Mönchengladbach is a "top opponent" according head coach Urs Fischer. The Foals have taken 13 from their last available 15 points, including victories against Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich. "Who comes second in a Champions League group with Real Madrid, Shakhtar Donetsk and Inter Milan is a top-level team," added the Union coach. Although Borussia Mönchengladbach sit down in fifth, Marco Rose's men are one of the form teams in the Bundesliga – now four points off second-placed Leipzig. A 4-2 win over Dortmund last week knocked the stuffing out of the team regularly the strongest challengers to Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga. Nico Elvedi scored a double in a topsy-turvy first 45 minutes, but impressive goals from Reny Bensibiani and Marcus Thuram put the game beyond any doubt. In other competitions, Mönchengladbach have a double-header to come against Premier League league-leaders Manchester City and in the DFB Pokal, they will go up against VfB Stuttgart.
Urs Fischer admitted in the pre-match press conference that there were questions marks over the availability of Grischa Prömel, Sheraldo Becker and Marius Bülter. All three have a chance and don't have any serious injuries to note. Christopher Trimmel and Florian Hübner are sitting out suspensions this weekend, while Max Kruse and Anthony Ujah are out of contention. Fischer added: "With Joel Pohjanpalo, it's looking really good. The strength is there for 15-20 minutes of game time. We'll decide after the last training session."
Saturday's 15:30 kick-off at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei will be played behind closed doors.